Hi, it's Poseur. You may know me from this piece, in which I argued that the SEC should add Texas A&M and not Texas. But, looking at the blog, it focused more on what is good for the SEC, and LSU specifically, and not what's good for Texas A&M.
Now, the Texas blog has already made the case for y'all to just keep following the Horns wherever they go, like a good little lapdog. Please, by all means, go read it now. You back? OK, now ask yourself this question and answer it honestly, "Do they really seem like they have your best interests at heart?" If you think so, by all means, hitch your wagon to Texas and continue to live your lives as Texas' Little Sister. I wish you well.
BUT... if you think that maybe, just maybe, A&M blindly following Texas wherever they go is what is best for Texas and not what's best for A&M, please at least hear me out. I can't pretend to know what's in your hearts and I'm not going to say that if you make the wrong decision, it will bring you nothing but ruin. You have one of the largest endowments in the country, a fanatical alumni group, and are a historic top 25 program... I think whatever you do, you'll be fine. Everyone is offering you sacks of cash, so you'll get a financial windfall regardless of what happens. This is about what's best for you.
First and foremost, we want you. We don't want Texas, we want you. What other conference can say that? If you go to the Pac-10 or the Big Ten, you're going as the tagalong to Texas. Those conferences want Texas and are willing to put up with you to get them. Is that what you want? To be merely tolerated? To be viewed as the school they were forced to take so they could add Texas? You think the little brother comments are bad now, what happens when you're in essentially a foreign conference?
You are one of us. You already have built in rivalries with LSU and Arkansas. Trust me, if you join the conference, this might be the last time we're nice to you. We can hate like no one else, but at least we give you food and beer as well. You're linked to Mississippi State through Jackie Sherrill and Alabama through Bear Bryant and even LSU again through Dana Bible. You're fanatical about football, just like us. You care deeply about tradition, just like us. Outsiders think you are a cult, just like us.
Texas talks a lot about academics, and I think they are lying about that, but it's not like we're all a bunch of uneducated hicks. We've got a bunch of Tier One universities (yes, including LSU) and we have even entered into a co-operative arrangement among the member schools. And many of the schools are interested in the same things you are: Agriculture and Mechanical. What other conference can offer you so many fellow ag schools? LSU, Auburn, Mississippi State... the whole western division knows its way around a farm or an engineering worksite. Sharing research with Berkeley or Ann Arbor sounds great in theory, but what are they going to share with you regarding your mission of, well, Agriculture and Mechanical? We take the "A&M" seriously around these parts. How will academic sharing with liberal arts schools truly benefit your academic mission?
And let's not pretend your endowment is going to go away. That's just silly. The oil and gas wells which fund those Texas endowments tend to be on land owned by Aggies, not Longhorns. If anyone should be worried about getting cut off from that sweet, sweet oil cash, it's not you. I'd also point out that in order to keep you in line, Texas is making all sorts of threats: that they won't play you anymore or that they will try and take away your endowment. Does that sound like someone who really cares about A&M?
Finally, it's been a rough decade for the Aggies football team. I'm not going to lie to you, the SEC is a tough conference. Everywhere you look, there is a proud program that has a history of winning. Just about everyone expects championships. You're not going to waltz in here and suddenly go 11-0. But that doesn't mean playing in the SEC can't turn your program around. Right now, it's tough for A&M to recruit against Texas because there isn't a whole lot of differentiation other than your traditions and the fact Texas wins a lot. Anything you can offer a recruit, so can Texas. But if you were in a different conference? You could offer something Texas couldn't: the chance to play in the greatest football conference in the nation. While those Longhorns will be making roadtrips to the west coast, you'll be able to stay in your own region. You can sell quality and proximity. Most importantly, you could sell recruits on something different. Because selling them essentially the same thing is clearly not working.
I'm not going to lie, my motives are selfish. We want your media markets. We crave all of those eyeballs. We desire your huge endowments and your massively loyal alumni base. This is a business, and we want you because you can make us more money. I think you fit culturally, but so does Clemson, and we aren't really going after them. We're going after you. Because we benefit as well.
I'm trying to be honest with you. If you don't want to join, that's perfectly fine. Have fun making that road trip to Oregon. You're going to make a lot of money regardless, and you really can't make a wrong choice. But there is one conference in which you can assert your independence and be welcomed as an equal, not as unfortunate stepchild to the true prize, and that's the SEC. You're already one of us. Just make it official. Come home.
PS - I'm not kidding. If you join, this is the last time we'll be nice. Because if you ain't a Tiger, you're Tiger Bait.